Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Must-See New Hampshire Lighthouse

Fort Constitution, New Castle, NH

Lighthouses, sailboats, and rugged coastline greeted us on a casual weekend drive in New Hampshire.

After parking, visitors walk
through the US Coast Guard Station
To beat the heat on a recent summer day, Matt took me on a scenic drive along New Hampshire's  18 miles of coastline.  One of my favorite stops along our seacoast adventure was at Fort Constitution State Historic Site in New Castle, NH.

To get to Fort Constitution, we took Route 1B to the US Coast Guard Station located on a peninsula in the northeast corner of New Castle.  Parking was available outside the gates of the Coast Guard Station and was free of charge.  Visitors had to enter the Guard gates on foot and walk on a paved colored strip through the base to the historic park entrance.

Inside the park, we were greeted by impressive views of the Piscataqua River, Atlantic Ocean, and a majestic lighthouse- all underlined by the crumbling walls of the old fort.  Picnicking was
Seawall and Lighthouse
available, and we saw families sharing a meal and playing games on the grass lawn.  I am a die-hard lighthouse fan, and I instantly fell in love with the large light at the fort.  The clear day also awarded me with a view of Maine's Whaleback Lighthouse in the distance.

There are no hiking or walking trails in the park, but I enjoyed photographing the classic New England scene.  Matt had fun climbing around on the fort and exploring the rocky shore below its walls.  This was a perfect stop to view a historic treasure on a summer day.

More Information:

Remnants of Fort Constitution

Fort Constitution has a long history. It is one of seven forts built to protect Portsmouth Harbor.  It has served as a fortress, training location, and battery in multiple wars including the Spanish-American War, War of 1812, Civil War, and WWI and II.  For more information on the history of Fort Constitution, download the NH Parks and Rec Brochure here.

Entry gate to park

View of Whaleback Light across the Piscataqua River

Please leave comments and questions below!